Saturday, September 22, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 38

Carol Wambaugh 1960
The writing prompt Unusual Source brought to mind a letter dated 24 February 1964 that was written by my great-aunts Nellie and Stella Metz to my cousin, Sister John Daniel (born Carol Wambaugh). Upon hearing the other nuns speaking of their grandparents, Carol expressed regret to her mother, Stella (Crusham) Wambaugh, that she didn’t know much about her own ancestors. Stella asked her aunts Nellie and Stella to relay what they knew, and in turn they wrote to Carol, giving the information they knew about the family.

In addition to filling a few holes in the family tree, the letter was filled with other tidbits about when various ancestors came to America and where they traveled from to get here. They included known birth and death dates, what some of the men did for a living in their home countries as well as once they got to the United States, where they worshipped, and that great-grandma Catherine (Colgan) Crusham arrived in America around the age of 3 just in time to get her tongue clipped.

letter from Nellie and Stella
It was from this letter I learned that the Crusham family had emigrated from Tuam, County Galway,
Ireland. With that piece of information I was able to visit the Galway Family History Society in Ireland to research their records in search of the original spelling of the Crusham name. As I’ve written in the past, it was usually spelled Crisham in Ireland, though other variations existed as well. From there I was able to obtain baptism and death information on the family.

I’ll be forever grateful to the nuns who talked about their families, and peaked Carol’s interest enough to ask her mom what she knew about the Crusham/Metz families. And that Nellie and Stella cared enough to write a six page letter to Carol detailing what they had heard about our family history.

Nellie and Stella Metz with their sister Lulu

Saturday, September 15, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 37

Kim, Chuck and Debbie
The writing prompt for this week is Closest to Your Birthday. I am unaware of any direct relatives who share my exact October birth date. The only person I found in my family tree was a very remote in-law whom I know nothing about.

But I do have two cousins whose birthdays are quite close to mine. And I even have a cute picture of the three of us on the couch at Grandma and Grandpa Crusham’s house.

Michael and Mayme (Metz) Crusham had 8 children who lived to be adults. The oldest, Marie, was a spinster and never had a family, but the other 7 all married and had children. Altogether there were 38 grandchildren - 20 boys and 18 girls. All of them were born in Cincinnati.

In the pecking order, I was grandchild #19. Just 15 days before me, my cousin Deborah was born. And 6 days after I arrived, my cousin Charles was born. The photograph shows the three of us together, probably taken at Easter in 1956.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 36

This week’s writing prompt involves Work and I'm writing about my dad’s early work history. LeRoy Kubler was born 29 June 1917 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Joseph and Lillian (Hungler) Kubler.  He was the second oldest of four children, and the only boy. He graduated from the Printing Vocational High School, located at 608 East McMillan Street, on 10 August 1934. In high school he set pins at a bowling alley to earn spending money.

cook at Jefferson Barracks
From the time he was 18 until at least the age of 21, Roy was listed in the Cincinnati Directories as being employed as a chef. How I wish I would have talked to him about that! I know that his mother taught him to cook (and clean house) along with his sisters, and that he was a cook at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis during his training with the Army Air Forces in WWII. He was quite good at it, and enjoyed preparing meals his whole life.

By 1941 Roy was working for the Railway Express Agency (REA), an organization that was responsible for shipping parcels by rail and truck throughout the United States. In order to work for the company he had to join the union. He became a member of the Cincinnati Labor Organization - Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees, Cincinnati Lodge No. 2045. This union was formed in 1899 by 33 railroad clerks meeting in Sedalia, Missouri. He was employed by the REA when he got married to Catherine Crusham on 17 January 1942, and when he enlisted in the Army Air Forces shortly thereafter.
Union Roll of Honor

Dance Freight Line
When Roy came home from the war in November of 1945, REA made arrangements to get him back home to Cincinnati following his separation from the army at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It is unclear whether he was able to return to his position at REA when he was discharged from the military, but at some point he went to work for Dance Freight Line, a regional trucking carrier with an important connecting terminal in Cincinnati. Dance served Ohio, Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Brady appointment
In the Cincinnati Enquirer on 6 May 1955 an article appeared listing the appointment of Roy Kubler, formerly assistant traffic manager of Dance Freight Lines, as sales representative for Brady Motorfrate Co. at the Cincinnati terminal. Brady Motorfrate had terminals in many locations including Cincinnati, Chicago, and Des Moines.

This new position would have lasting implications for the family. By January of 1956 Roy was required to move to Chicago, uprooting the family of six. Five years later, he was transferred to Des Moines, where he remained until his retirement in 1984, though his career would take many paths over those twenty-eight years.